The pandemic disrupted many homeowner’s financial security. But what options exist to get back on your feet?
Darrin and Michelle worked hard to save up money and buy a home they're proud of. They love hosting their children, grandchildren, and wider community for fish fries and swims in their backyard.
After they bought their home, Darrin and Michelle sold other, unnecessary belongings and built their church, New Beginnings Outreach International. As co-pastors, they developed their brand: Slugger Roo, an acronym for “Spread, Love, Under, God's, Grace, Everywhere, Respectfully to Rejoice On & On!” Under the umbrella of Slugger Roo, they have founded a barbershop, brought their ministry to youth and detention centers, authored books, and recorded original Christian music.
Like many Americans, Darrin and Michelle’s finances were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their primary source of revenue is their barbershop, and they learned the hard way that “we're recession proof, but we're not pandemic proof. So that was like a shocker.”
With much of their hard-earned wealth tied up in their home-equity, they decided to follow the 2020 trend of mortgage refinancing. Darrin's refinance application was turned down which left him frustrated and confused.
Darrin started looking for other options, even considering selling his car. He said to Michelle, “The castle is going into shambles. What are we going to do? Are there any other options?”
“The castle is going into shambles. What are we going to do?”
Michelle replied, “Babe, there was something that came in the mail that I wouldn't mind doing.” She showed him a postcard from Truehold.
Through talking to their Truehold Advisor, Darrin and Michelle decided to do a Sale-Leaseback. Their anniversary and Darrin’s birthday were coming up that month, and they thought the timing was perfect—they could finally release their worry and celebrate.
“Truehold hit the grand slam. It was just the best option for us, and we got more than we would think of doing it this way, and it helps us out, and we're still in our home, and that's the beautiful thing.”
Darrin found his experience with Truehold to be very different from refinancing: “With Truehold, it was none of that. It was like, ‘Darrin, oh, we love you.’ Everybody I talked to was so upbeat and cool. I'm like, ‘this is what it's about’... you know, helping each other out…giving people who are really great upstanding citizens to do good things for the community.”
“We're still in our home, and that's the beautiful thing.”
In the last few months, Darrin and Michelle have gone on vacation, fixed their dryer, and bought new tires for their car. They have plans to publish Michelle’s new book and produce some of Darrin’s songs with their unlocked equity.
“It was just like perfect for us because we love what we do. And to be able to do what we do, we need our capital. So I said, ‘Thank you Lord,’ and it was just perfect…This will push us to the next level…It took a lot of that weight off my shoulders to think about what's next.”
“It took a lot of that weight off my shoulders to think about what's next.”
Darrin believes that “We need a program like this that gives us the opportunity to do more, but also still stay in our home, use our equity, and get back in position.”
Darrin’s advice to anyone on the fence about doing a Sale-Leaseback is: “Jump off the fence already! Do a cannonball! Jump in the pool. You're not gonna know if it's cold if you don't jump in, you know? My wife encouraged me to give that ring, and I'm glad I did because it's a blessing.”
“Jump off the fence already! Do a cannonball!”
Thank you to Darrin for sharing your story! Thank you, too, for using your Sale-Leaseback to give back to your local community. We’re humbled to be a small part of your ministry.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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